AOFS (2x)
D.Dharmawan World Peace Orchestra
Dewa Budjana (2 x) -(seperate page)-
Discus (2 x)
I Know You Well Miss Clara -(seperate page)-
In Memoriam
Kekal (2 x)
-(see also Poil)-
Sabah Habas Mustapha & the Jugala All Stars
Sha'aban Yahya
SimakDialog (4x) -(seperate page)-
Tohpati (2 x)
V.A.: Sumatran Folk Cinema ; V.A.: Indonesia Maharddika

<-60S releases (Shark Move, Ariesta Birawa,  Koes, Dara Suspita ) on page 1

Mellow Records                           Discus : 1st (ID,2000?)***°°

I heard on this CD combination of heavy progressive, symphonic, Indonesian music, jazz fusion, contemporary composition and RIO, jazz composition played with a heavy prog rock band (with electric guitar and el. bass and drums) with some nice flute, added with jazz passages and even some ethno pop tunes. 
On "Lamentation & Fantasia Gamelantronique" (that lasts for 8 minutes) the rockband's playing is interwoven with Gamelan like keyboards, and starts with hints towards the traditional Indonesian music and develops immediately a very unique blend combining all these elements I have described before. It is a very interesting composition that combines all these elements incredibly fluently. This composition has many passages that seems to summarize an alternative access to the world expressed as a musical internet without consuming informations, but only involved with the potentional contents collecting colourful expressions of images, one by one, summerizing at the same time this experience. The second track, "For this Love" is a more easy going, almost a Latin Soul-jazz song without any pretentions, backed by the rock group playing jazzy passages. The influence of McLauglin can be experienced sometimes as well, but from another background / viewpoint. "Doc's Tune" is jazz fusion from a high level. "Considonance" is an acoustic jazz fusion track with a contemporary classic composition. Odd as a combination, but still effective. 

Much of the CD will confuse some listeners at first because they might expect to be able to place the music very soon after hearing the first notes. So nobody will expect, after a first hearing, and after having heard the first truly progressive music track, such different approaches. But once you understand from which ground they start from you might start to accept and understand that these good skilled musicians really adapted anything.  

"Dua Cermin" is a bit disappointing because it starts as an Indonesian mainstream pop song, and also "Wujudkan !" started like that, although the instrumentation is from a good backing band. This might be a way for Indonesian musicians to survive, adding & expressing such tracks, I'm not sure... A more atmospheric "Violin metaphysics" with violins echoing around are an introduction for one more more commercial pop song backed by the same good musicians. Luckily, "Contrasts", the last track of the CD goes back to where it started and that for about 13 minutes of advancement. If the whole album were like these tracks I would have given this CD the maximum grading (as "not to miss classic, completely unique *****"), but because of the lesser tracks, which are ok within its context, but which were also not  really necessary on it for us collectors of new musical challenges (the CD is still 62 minutes long) I gave it a lesser grading. Never the less, this is a group very much worth to discover, and hopefully they will be appreciated much more for their advanced fusion. The two progressive tracks are the most interesting ones I heard, or even can imagine with additional gamelan.

I attached a text file with some extra information and a small interview : Discus-information.

Webpage : Available at
and & 
Reviews at and at and at
Their second release is reviewed next -->

Intrepid Music                 Discus : "..tot licht!" (ID,2003)***°°

An improvement on the first CD is that here each track is actually some kind of arranged or heavy symphonic rock. Now the music is so loaded with (symphonic -without fitting completely within the limitations and description of this genre -) arrangements that despite the title the mood seems denser at first. (There are not many moments of relaxed peacefulness). The group keeps on adding tons of melodic ideas and arrangements, that are complex and come from all kinds of genres, inspired from symphonic music, progressive rock, fusion, Rock In Opposition, Indonesian music, metal/hard rock, contemporary classical music, and so on ; there's some jazzy improvisations, and so much more. Only after a second listen, after having overcome the surprise element, I got used to the listening intensity, and everything makes perfect sense. The result might be rather heavy, its arrangements are thought over with intelligence. The production by Andy Julias is done professionally. This way the music works as a progressive rock soundtrack. When listening loud and on best equipment, only then the full capacity and all ideas come over well. The skills of the musicians and also female singer are terrific. The details are full of compact musical, technical & melodic inventions. The Indonesian elements makes the sound even more original and different from any other progressive rock group. ... The more I hear it the more I think how fantastic this is ! Considered afterwards I even think this is perhaps the most surprising albums from 2003.

(Together with a choice from Kekal) it blew more than one listener away at my place ! Recommended to all fans of the new progressive / symphonic rock scene.

Today the band consists now of 8 members. Three guest musicians participated.

The CD is released in Japan, but is also available as an Indonesian CD for members of the Indonesian Progressive Society. It's going to be being released by Musea France soon !

My favourite tracks are "Verso Kartini" (13 min) and "Anne" (20 min), followed by "System Manipulation" (10 min), which uses gamelan arrangements too. 

Info : See more remarks near the end of the page on my playlist. &
Listeners remarks :
German reviews : &
French review : ; Japanese review :

Celestial Court           Sha'aban Yahya : Return to Jogja (ID,1992)****°

This item came to my notice most coincidently. A friend of mine bought it in Indonesia. I liked it immediatly and it moved several people who I knew from all kinds of perspectives. It's an item that touched not only my musical interest, my emotions ; it's story and translation touched my soul ! This real life story is about a couple that parted unwantingly. Reminded by its original meating place the boy went back longing to meat her there once more. When he almost gave up hope she looked at him with the same disbelieve until he called her name. They did find eachother again under applause of the surrounding people. This story is translated into music, in diferent section and with repetitive themes of hope, despair, romantic memory. Very gamelan like synthesiser sounds are between New Age and a emotionally involved Kraftwerk version of gamelan sounds. A same theme has been repeated in several versions and with beautiful multi-layers. Refreshing, meditative and moving. Absolutely recommended and deserved to be recognised internationally.

Info at
(available from ) 
Here' another page : (with audio file)
On you can read : 
" Cafe Lazer and a few other spots you can hear good modern Indonesian groups. A favourite of mine is Sha'aban Yahya whose fusion album "Return to Jogja" makes interesting listening.."

Here's a more recent filmproject by the composer :
He also produced the next album :
Also available at

Omnium Rec.Sabah Habas Mustapha & the Jugala All Stars (ID,2000)***

Incredibly odd is the combination of more unusual rhythms with Sundanese Traditionals like chachacha, Cuban, South American and possibly African Rhythms,... Very enjoyable and unique in this form. The happy way they bring the Javanese music is the same way Senor Coconut transformed the Kraftwerk songs into chachacha versions. The basic remains a Javanese style (beautifully performed). The rhythms doesn't sound so usual but they fit as if they always were meant like this. Some extra rock instruments like drums and electric bass (and one time an electric rhythm guitar) gives the extra touch. Recommended.

PS. According to Reza it was L. Colin Bass (from Camel) who made this album with the help from Sundanese Gamelan musicians... He "hided" under this pseudonym of " Sabah Habas Mustapha" "  

Info on group :
Info on release & audio :

Fear Dark            Kekal : 1000 thoughts of violence (ID,2003)****°

Some years at the end of the 90's I followed closely the progressive metal scene and the interesting combinations of duo vocals, classical arrangements in the dark metal scenes with some wonderful examples (Tristania, Hollenthon, Groomy Grim, Artrosis, Sins of Thy Beloved, Aghora, etc with items which I still play now and then, or parts of it, but not often (-I can even still appreciate now and then the highlight thematical release from Cradle of Filth about countess Bathory-..). Having read about Kekal, during the preparations of my future Indonesian Progressive radioshow broadcast, I decided to check this latest release. Kekal is a group which is not theatrical, but brings purely musical and philosophical themes. It is said that this group went beyond usual dark metal with progressive and experimental touches mixed with classic metal and sometimes with a more atmospheric guitar. 

Their sound on this fifth album is surely interesting. The tracks that start more up-tempo are in a dark metal style and have various tempo changes and a really powerful sound and production. The first track has female vocals. Basically this is multilayered guitars / vocals / drums and sampling drums, sound manipulation, the production, mixing and compositions are surely intelligent. Tracks that immediately blew me away at first skipping were some of the more powerful tracks like "Once again it failed", for its female voice, and especially "Vox Diaboli" for its incredible production, powerful sound and tempo changes, and the 12 minute track "Beyond numerical reasons", with even a progressive fusion rock touch and coloured voice arrangements. But all the other tracks are great too, varying from song oriented metal to instrumentally worked out progressive metal tracks with surprising changes and very unusual (modern) rhythms and adaptations. A intelligent listening pleasure for the open minded.

PS. A few more remarks on some tracks were made at my playlist (at the last airplayed tracks)

Homepage :
Label entry :
Info :
Info on releases :
Review : &
German review of this album :
Sounds : next, 2005 release->

Fear Dark  Kekal : Acidity (ID,2005)***°

I was very curious as to the evolution of this Indonesian metal band, because the latest album I heard had progressive elements in the true sense, and challenging combinations, very new for the genre. The group build up this album like one symphonic piece, with all and even more varied elements. This time these different elements hang together even more logically, even with surprising breaks and rhythm changes they sound very natural. These elements are symphonic metal, heavy metal (more like early Iron Maiden), dark and brutal metal, even a few seconds of hiphop metal !, some gothic wave song orientation, a few seconds of jazzy melodies and improvisations, some pop song orientation with metal background, some details of progressive techno-electronic elements, with wild progressive rock, and some mad freakout theatrical avant-garde vocals, some guitar feedback ambience, and perhaps of few seconds of some Indonesian element. A successful release to listen to in one take. It's perhaps even more accessible than their 2003 masterpiece.

Audio : "Strength in my Weakness", "A Dream for a Moment", "The Way of Thinking", "Beyond Comprehension"
Homepage :
Intro on Kekal : &
Info on album :
Other reviews : &
German review :

PRS Rec.        Imanissimo : Z's Diary (rec.2004)**°

Imanissimo is, like Discus one of the few progressive rock groups with ambitious and large compositions. Imanissimo create melodic (neo-)symphonic music, with on the first and last track some heavy metal & metal guitars with very worked out melodic compositions, with here and there some spacey ambient keyboards. Part 4 is the most ambitious piece, and has also some small jazzy piano lead part and some rhythmical and vocal Indonesian elements on the “Blast from the Past” part, which might be my favourite. Overall for my own taste the album still is too melodic (as too much a note-for-note-music) and in the same way there's too much melodic fantasy over real expression.

This album is produced by the same person who produced the latest Discus album, and it has a very similar cover too, with more kitschy computer drawings inside. It is the group’s second release.

Audio : "1st Moment ...... Z’s Dream", "2nd Moment ...... Anomaly Of The Ocean*, 
"3rd Moment ...... The Adventures Of Captain Zed" , "Final Moment ...... Last Day To Live" : 
"part I. Dilemmatic Sunrise", "II. Tales From The Ocean", "III. In Between Times",
"IV. Hopeless Soul","V. Blast From The Past", "VI. The Dying Ship", "VII. The Last Sunset"

Homepage :
Info :
Other reviews :

MusikitaKrakatau : 2 Worlds (INDO/CAN/US,2005)***°'

Krakatau here brings a perfect blend between Indonesian elements and jazz, or just a rich variation of great jazz. There was a deliberate mix of the pentatonic system of the gamelan, with the diatonic system of the west, in a jazz and improvisational context. The music sound is inspired and groovy. Just a few sessions were recorded elsewhere, in Totonto (Canada) and Chicago (US). There they had jams with cooperative musicians, like Howard Levy, Carlo Actis Dato, Ron Davis, Reg Schwarger amongst others, while the fundamental group is a septet already. I like the release in superlatives especially on the mixing style tracks like “Levy’s Groove”, “Actis Baritone funk”, “Bancak Pakeweuh” and on the wild “Double Bands ‘live’” from a recording with no more than 5 extra guests. The singing on “Perahu” sounds like a combination of Indian with jazz improvisation.  But also when seemingly entirely into jazz the band sound as much a great performing band. A recommend release and a tip for concert promoters abroad.

Homepage : with audio here
Indonesian Info :
For Dwiki Dharmawan's other project, the World Peace Orchestra see further down ->
PRS Rec.   Anane : The evolution ethnic / Slebar Slebor (ID,2005)*****

This is one of the best examples I heard ever from musicians who feel the essence of traditional music and perform it as if it is, but also exactly like, a kind of progressive jazzrock, with mostly new,modern electric and a few old acoustic instruments. This blend is so incredibly complete, with a great amount of amazing rhythms. This sounds like a kind of Canterbury jazzrock based upon Indonesian ethno-folk. The folk are mostly from Gayonese origin. There is a great amount of ideas and instruments which are mixed perfectly, and with some distance in colours from each chosen instruments. This perfect mix with an intelligent choice of complexity alone already makes the album a must for folkrock, jazz & progressive rock lovers ! This isn’t just a dialogue, but a perfect blend between these genres. 
Slightly different is "Perueren" which has some great flamenco guitar and waltz theme to it, but also this is mentioned as a local song !? 

The group consist of 7 members, with two additional talents. 

It is a bit puzzling how to see fit the bonus track, which a remix of one of the tracks with club beats. This is however done with a certain playful and humorousness, and cleverness, I'm sure this will not only satisfy some extra people from different interests and approaches and expectations. It is another great additional inclusion as a fine conclusion to the CD.

The album was nominated at AMI (anugerah Musik Indonesia) Awards 2005. A must have.

Management :  Info :  ;
German review (2nd on page) :

PRS Rec.Nerv : Ragam (2005)****°

Nerv is a sextet rock band with a celebrated feminine violin player, Nia. It's great progressive rock release with some Indonesian folk inspirations, with some loaded and a few more relaxed arrangements, with plenty of room for the violinist, who played with much feelings. Some tracks have more Indonesian elements than others, which I apreciate much. "Ragam" is incredible by the whole mix and range of influences, but with a progressive rock result, with great guitars arrangements and heavy intelligent outbursts, flute, violin, funky fuzz, nice changes in rhythms, some keyboards. Last track has an Irish violin theme.

German review (3rd on page) :
& (2nd on page)
Japanese review :

PRS Rec.In Memoriam : The Ultimate Terrorizing Aura of Unlogic Mind (2003)*°

It is a long time ago since I listened to this kind of style of Gothic metal with a heavenly female vocalist. It is released by the Indonesian progressive society but only has a few attempts to be really progressive, mostly only attempting certain symphonic metal arrangements instead. "Kokain" and "Versus" might have some ideas in a progressive direction, but most of  the album does not add much outside the gothic-metal, neo-prog and new neo-symphonic metal interest fields. The 13 minute long last track, "Overture" is the best attempt with symphonic arrangements, progressive touches, some jazz and cafe jazz and a kind of gaudy Gothic-symphonic music, which is worked out technically, but still leaves me with a rather empty musical and spiritual feeling.

German review :
Japanese reviews : &

Drag City     Suarasama : Fajar Di Atas Awan (INDO,1998,re.2008)****'

see review on

Mei Hua's Katsu  Academie of Farside (AOFS) : Windig Notes (2004)***°

Even more than the debut of Discus, Academie of Farside makes on their debut uncompromising combinations of styles that were never combined before, to strange, and puzzling effect. Progressive improvisations, mainstream pop or more jazzy vocals with some regular pop vocal fantasies, strange and confusing sound effects, odd keyboards, longer pieces on Indonesian themes, offkey harmonies and melodic parts of certain instruments, progressive rock of bass/drum drives, and just some tiny flashes of bluesrock, or reggae and freaking guitars here : all of these themes are mixed to confuse as well as to combine. On the opener, “freedom sickness”, certain themes, that are mixed together, sound as if song and the rhythmical progressive drive don’t belong to each other and, like a bad dancer without feeling for rhythm, go and follow each a bit further in their own ways. This hardly fits well in an obvious way and is even made deliberately more odd by stranger sounds and wilder border-expanding improvisations. The whole move of movements, throughout most of the album, remains “progressive”. Like in a city full of contrasts accepts all flashy worlds living on the edge of possibilities for still being able to fuse in any way, are gathered into one entity. “No one else” is the most normal track, a pop song with only some piano. All other tracks have something bizarre. The jazzy way of singing on the last and large track, “soil on the new sun”, combines well with the Indonesian and progressive modes… 

Audio : & with info :
& on
Intro :
Homepage : http://www.academieoffarside.netnext release ->

Mei Hua's Katsu  Academie of Farside (AOFS) : Bradakoom!!! (ID,2006)***°

On this second album, the progressive edge is more complete and this time adapted their elements well into a symphonic and logical whole, with more use and lead from keyboards. The singer’s contribution is no longer “odd” at times to combine with the progressive approach. Mostly it combines well, like an indiepop song approach adapted to a progressive background, with closer interaction. By the time of the last tracks, the music sound more melodic, almost pop song-like, in a symphonic prog context, and therefore would fit well, as another odd variation, to some of the new neo-prog groups.

Audio : &  & with info :
& on
Intro :
Homepage :
Sublime FrequenciesSumatran Folk Cinema -DVD- (rec.2001-2004,pub.2008)***°

Most of this visual documentary was shot during two weeks in 2004 by Mark Gergis and Alan Bishop, with a small segment of David Martinez, and a screenshot of local rebels in 2001 by Billy Nessen, and is a visual impression of Sumatra’s musical variety which they experienced during their journey. This also includes some, rather funny television shots (like publicity shots, comedy singing or horror movie fragments). We are able to see, without more explanation (except where it has been filmed) impressions of street scenes, like markets, with some street musicians (with acoustic guitar or casio, or just a birds cassette to attract birds in order to capture them). Some scene shots were filmed from a taxi or a train. We see traditional performances in colourful Indonesian or in modest Islamic style, in contemporary classical or local fusion/folk-rock (both from music schools), or different night club music (cabaret, rock and pop styled). It gives very much an impression how it is experienced in the whole context, also without uplifting highlights, and with respect for whole songs. For this, with the last, more mainstream evening song this began to become slightly tiring, not wanting to ask for much more (extra less interesting bonus tracks were also added). For the biggest part this had my attention well, especially in combination with television, and setting the scenes this worked very well.

Video intro :
Info :
Remarks in Dutch on

Omega PacificDwiki Dharmawan's World Peace Orchestra (ID,2009)***°

After Krakatau’s World Fusion experiments with jazz, this new project led by keyboard player Dwiki Dharmawan mostly is a jazzrock-fusion project with a complex exotic Latin-and Indonesian flavoured rhythm section, some jazzy mouth harmonica and melodic progressive fusion keyboards (a few times electric guitars, making it sound more progressive than jazfusion based), sometimes with other jazz and jazz-fusion elements like sax or so, but also more Indonesian elements like flute or singing are mixed in. The few songs are rather mellow and sound idealistic towards the world peace project and have a lightness within a jazzfusion style. Just some of these idealisms are also perfectly practically adapted into a world music mixtures of styles. The first track especially has an impressive mix of African berimbau, rain pipe, gamelan, an Arab styled orchestra with flute (in fact a Chinese orchestra) , jazz bass, rock drums, jazz fusion and flamenco flavoured Spanish guitar, Latin percussion, Middle Eastern singing and flamenco (?) singing and some some brass accents, expressing a very wide range of World Music possibilities, an expression as if the whole world is in your pocket. Elsewhere on other tracks there are a few more elements adapted from other World music origins, but not too much else then from Indonesian origin. Mostly the band remains a jazz fusion band with its own original accent. A few times vocoder (electronically processed voice) is mixed with the keyboard playing. Interesting and rewarding. 

Video’s : ; Homepage : ;  Article : ;  Next Wiki product Sa-Unine->

Moonjune Rec./private      Tohpati Ethnomission : Save The Planet (INDO,2010)****'

Guitarist Tohpati has proved his skills and visions in different projects, like with jazz fusion band simakDIALOG (reviewed on this page) and with Ethnomission (which I will check soon). He was also guest guitarist for many pop bands (no jazz or fusion). He has also two solo releases in Indonesia. This third solo album, released for the rest of the world can be regarded more like a group project where several, in fact most of the musical themes are led by ideas from the guitar, without forgetting the group sound solutions coming forth from it. With two percussionist and a sometimes rather fast playing gifted bass player and in this way there are multiple jazz fusion layers created. Some parts are thematically/melodically led by the combination flute/guitar, all instruments have their gifted shares. The musical themes have an enormous variety, mostly of a progressive fusion-jazzrock nature with calmer and then with expanding nature. It is rewarding, rather unique to hear indonesian themes alternate with hints to themes of other jazz and progressive fusion-like guitarists, combined with a beautiful natural evolution. This must be consciously added influences. Recogniseable are themes from Terje Rypdal, John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra) and Robert Fripp (King Crimson's “Red”) and Pat Metheny. Within one track many themes are logically interwoven without becoming a medley, instead it is creating a new and original progressive fusion style, played with an affected emotional consciousness. The rhythmic themes that have Indonesian backgrounds make this even better. A good combination of preparation with improvisational skill and musical vision. There are a few tiny touches by keyboards or a few subtle electronic rhythm effects and some small clarinet-like instrument doing a solo and also, a few nice contributions by a guest singer. Recommended !

Tohpati's project is led by guitarist Tohpati (simakDIALOG/Ethnomission) on electric guitar and midi synth guitar, supported by bass guitarist Indro Hardjodikoro, first percussionist Demas Narawangsa (being 16 years old at the time of this session) on drums and Indonesian percussion instruments rebana, kempluk, and second percussionist Endang Ramdan (also of simakDIALOG) on kendang, gong and kenong, and lastly suling (=Indonesian wooden flute) player Diki Suwarjiki, with vocalist Lestari on one track.

(Will check Ethnomission and some other solo album(s) soon).

Video :
Info & audio :
Info :
Label info :
Other reviews : &  &
Indonesian info :  ; next album->

Sony Music     Tohpati : Serampang Samba (INDO,2002)**°'

This is an Indonesian release-only of SimakDialog's guitarist, in fusion guitar style, ranging from progressive electric fusion towards light hearted late evening breeze New Age acoustic guitar, hanging thoughtfully together. 

The first track is the most ambitious one, changing very quickly from a raga guitar theme to a sitar guitar approach with funky bass and then electric fusion guitar, with mixed percussion of programmed rhythms, drumming and hand percussion, with a female jazz vocalist improviser. The second track is already lighter world fusion with Indonesian elements in melody and percussion, mixed with progressive electric fusion and keyboard fusion styled harmonies. Then suddenly the atmosphere turns into a mellow acoustic pop ballad, followed by New Age rock fusion with a melody leading. “Barongsai” after that is light fusion with acoustic guitar on samba rhythms, followed by more relaxed jazz-fusion, with late night warm breeze atmospheres which continue throughout most of the rest of the album. On “penari” the sound becomes once more more serious at the same time with more electric guitar mixed with acoustic guitars and several layers of rhythm. On “Takbir” we hear a serious acoustic tune, a very moody piece. This continues with a slight jazzy edge on returning to the evening relaxedness on the last track. 

One time the lightness dominates, then a more creative world fusion idea appeared, the arranged attention with and to the music works well, but this remains a mixture of light, with a few more serious thoughts.

Audio : "mahabarata" & on &
Video on ; Small description & audio on
About Tohpati :
Interview :
Info & audio : album->

Moonjune Music     Tohpati Bertiga : Riot (INDO,2012)****

Guitarist Tohpati is becoming rather popular in Indonesia. Thanks to Moonjune Records he now is also getting more and more international attention. On this release, with the help of bassist Indro Hardjodikoro and drummer Adityo Wibowo he now shows his skills best as a guitarist with a perfect combination of composed and improvised music ranging from jazzfusionguitar with a rock edge, rock music, progressive edges, a bit heavier and also funky parts and who knows what other influences (classical or ethnic or jazz-rock related). Tohpati performs here like a real guitar hero but unpretentiously and just borrows energy from his skills alone. Most attention in the mix goes to the guitarist but thoroughly it becomes clear how the trio works very well together with vision and power, one hardly noticed at first that also the bass and drums contribute in energy and themes very well and with their own complexity, mostly in the rhythms. Occasionally I think I heard a fast keyboard arrangement mixed in somewhere too. There are lots of twists and turns, the themes change very often, (never keeping the music in one theme for too long), while Tohpati succeeds to keep the logic of it together, from a funkier theme for instance to a rock riff : everything fits together so that it never becomes predictable at all and the whole still evolves smoothly, groovy and entertaining. 

(Jazzmusicarchives described the album as: Tony Williams Lifetime crossed with King Crimson, Battles and Vernon Reid, while also comparing the album with some other progressive or jazzrock trios).

Label info :
Info :
Homepage : ; Info & audio :
Other reviews : & ; next album->

Moonjune Music     Tohpati : Tribal Dance (INDO/US,2014)****'
-featuring Jimmy Haslip & Chad Wackerman-

Guitarist Tohpati is amazing. On the first track, it seems like he plays a bit like Jimi Hendrix who in this case is not only influenced and developed from blues and rock, but also jazz-rock and more. But then many more guitarists and approaches (jazz rock guitarists mostly) come to mind as well (too many to mention), above all this album shows, thanks to the main theme that Tohpati’s origin and personal development of vision, with a complexity in rhythms, here put more straight forward creatively in a partly composed and partly improvised jazz rock setting, accompanied perfectly for this purpose by these American artists. It has its roots deeply involved and feels like something developed in Indonesia, where tribal folk shows especially a complexity in rhythm and where one further allows free movement and melodic progression in style (-remember that Indonesia also had an interesting progressive scene since the 60s-). One of the other intros uses not just the obvious rhythmical Indonesian voicings. In one other track, he strangely added a Mongol overtone-singing intro? One more track is arranged like he does that more often on Indonesian releases, with additional keyboard texturing. 

All in all, it is amazing what range of experimentation Tohpati shows with his guitar, all still fitting within stylistic patterns. Even when there’s a bit of sound experimentation used, it again leads quickly to jazzy improvisations. Occasionally, I also heard a funky guitar element, while rhythmic composition and melodic improvisation meet in a very creative field of changes. Recommended.

PS. Wackerman has played with Frank Zappa, while Haslip has collaborated with Chaka Khan, Bob James and Kiss.

Intro: & &
Other review: &

private   Sa'Unine String Orchestra : MasaLalu Selalu Aktual (INDO,2012)***

The Sa’Unine Orchestra (pronounced Sa-'u-nee-nay) is the latest project of Krakatau founder Dwiki Dharmawan (remember also World Peace Orchestra). Although he has landed in jazz and prog-fusion territory, before, he studied in fact classical music, which shows itself in this project without forgetting his folk fusion interests. The way of orchestration is very western. The first track shows filmic waves of orchestrations as if this is made for a 50s Hollywood movie. The second track goes into a happier mode with some plucked rhythms. The third track is also featured on a bonus DVD include in the box. It has a guest singer performing a traditional folk song that has a rather universal recognisable melodic sense, as if being a bit of a salute. The next track is instrumental again, in a more romantic sense of arrangement. From then on it becomes a bit weird using what I guess are melodies based upon folk sources from Indonesia, used in a contemporary sense combined with the classical orchestra, swelling the melodies further, in a way this combination feels as if this grouped movement in an orchestrated wave sense of the melody is leading to nowhere specific, where the folk idea and the orchestra almost become contradictions of energy. Much more convincing is the conclusion in pizzicato only, which fit perfect with the gamelan-typed developments of melody. This conclusion sound fresh and humouristic and is also received by the public with likewise appreciation.

Homepage : ; Info & audio :
Other review :
Article :

private   Pendulum : Propaganda (INDO,2012)**°'

This is a loaded progressive-symphonic album with some influences of bands like Marillion or the new progressive scene, tending towards the melodic bombastic but still well under control, like a dedicated perfectionist studio progressive band. For this new-progressive scene (something I personally never paid too much attention to) they should in fact be lifted out and be given more attention. I wonder until now why nobody ever noticed them, because this could find its public relatively easy with a bit of the right promotion….

Homepage:  & 

on separate pages : Dewa BudjanaI Know You Well Miss ClaraSimak Dialog

with more foreign examples
which used gamelan with progressive 
or contemporary moves

see also the traditional ensemble Gamelan Sekaten 

or go back to general page of Indonesian progressive / Fusion
(with links to playlists with extra comments on various tracks)
or go to the Psych/beat & a go-go in Malaysia/Singapore/Thailand/Cambodia page
(Japan & Korea have different sections)
or go back to the main index of the radio program "Psyche van het Folk"

page completely updated 2003-03-31 ; new review added 2014-12-26

Doop Pi Doop/Sublime Frequencies  Matt Dunning : The Stirring of a thousand Bells (IO/JV,2014)***

review moved to a separate page here

Demajors indipendant Music Industry  V.A. : Indonesia Maharddhika -2CD- (INDO,2014)**'

​This double CD compilation gives an idea on what is living amongst Indonesian groups concerning the symphonic progressive rock style interest and work-outs. Some of the first listed band shows that for some bands, like for many neo-prog bands the songs and song structures are not too different from a pop song. The way these songs are worked out however is much more bombastic and loaded with layers, sympho-prog and even the sound of metal guitars (Cockpit). This bombastic tension can become tiring too but it becomes better when the element of hard rock or heavy metal adds power (KadriJimmo), or when the electric guitar starts to show an emotional way of playing (The Miracle). Discus starts not with the most convincing sort of singing, continues from the same described area, but then adds tons of ideas, changes, swift sudden moves adding parts with various Indonesian instruments, an element of violin, mellotron, then serious jazz and scatting, turning back and working out its jazz/Jazz-rock element, even allowing a funky touch they are again amazing and progressive in their ideas too. Van Java invited a rather pop-voice too, with a female singer, playing moodily and keeping a jazzy touch here too. The album, with Vantasma and Imanissimo, like one concept continues with all the variously touched ideas and works further with them. More jazz and jazz scatting can by heard by Atmosfera while they used keyboards and drums mostly. In Memoriam, even with sympho-prog interests shows a heavy metal style with it, complaining about what doesn’t go right in society. Iwan Hassan invited people like Rick Wakeman, Keenan Nasution Marcelli and Indra Lesman shows once more the whole variety of progressive rock starting from pop singing, while heading towards bombastic workouts, and even adapt orchestral elements, and a small jazzy part. They have some part worked out as a rock opera, while having an Indonesian music touch layered in it as well. A good album for neo-prog lovers that wants to know what lives at the other end of the world that does still not get deserved exposure. A reminder that this still is just one side of all the things that are going on.

The title of the album seems to refer to Guruh Gipsy, the highlight of the early days progrock from Indonesia. Surjorimba S. who gave me this album to check out said “Initially it was just this title track, which was initiated by Iwan Hasan of Discus. The song was chosen because it was our first prog rock song in history. And the lyric was about nationalism. The spirit of the project (that song only) was to remind us how beautiful and great our country is. As it involved, many musicians, Kadri Muhammad came with the idea to invite other musicians and make a compilation album. Kadri invited many of his colleagues to finance the album. Also with the same spirit. It is not merely a commercial product, but also a product with idealism. The album was launched at Aug 21st, the date when the people rushed and demonstrated to put down the President Soeharto regime in 2008.”